Monday, November 13, 2017 | 1:45pm
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hamilton County woman is charged with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment for the pills. Doctor shopping involves visiting multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain prescription drugs and using TennCare state healthcare insurance benefits as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Ragan Ashcraft, 28, of Harrison. She is charged with five counts of TennCare fraud for allegedly using TennCare to doctor shop for the painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.
“Tennessee is fortunate to have the laws and the authority to pursue people who are doctor shopping for drugs, whether it’s for personal abuse or with the intent of distribution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Although the nation is moving to crack down on opioid abuse, we will continue to pursue people using TennCare to pay for drugs intended for sale or abuse.”
District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,915 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”